Why is My Dog Not Eating?

As a dog owner, you know when something isn’t quite right with your pet. And it’s easy to tell when your dog is either not eating at all or not eating as much as they usually do. These are both concerning issues, and it’s important to try to get to the bottom of the issue with your pet as soon as possible.

In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why your dog might be uninterested in eating. Some of these are easier to resolve than others, but they will all require a trip to the veterinarian to figure out the best treatment or management options. Call Veterinary Medical Center of St. Lucie County at (772) 337-8570.

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Illness is the most common cause of dogs losing interest in their food. Just like humans losing their appetite while they’re sick, dogs do the same thing. If your dog has a respiratory illness, the symptoms may also make it difficult for them to smell their food, which can contribute to a lack of appetite as well.

If your dog is sick and is already under treatment from the vet, it’s probably okay to wait a day or two and see if their appetite returns. Otherwise, you should take them to the vet for a full workup.


Pain can also cause a dog to lose interest in food. If your dog is suffering and in pain, they may not feel like eating, or they might feel nauseated after trying to eat. Additionally, if their pain is caused by a mobility issue such as arthritis, they may be unable to stand comfortably while eating and may have trouble reaching their food dish.

Take your dog to the vet if you think their loss of appetite is related to pain. It will be necessary to figure out the underlying cause of the pain and determine the right way to treat or manage your pet’s condition.


If your dog is on medication for a known condition—either short-term or long-term—this medication might also affect their appetite. If you’ve ever taken an antibiotic that has made you feel a little sick at your stomach, you can understand how this might happen with dogs as well.

Talk to your vet to find out if there are any other solutions for your dog’s condition. The vet might also provide a prescription food that is more interesting to dogs who have a loss of appetite as well.

Dislike of Food

One of the simplest and least concerning problems that can cause a dog to lose interest in food is simply a dislike of the food in question. If you’ve recently changed your dog’s food, they may not like the taste, smell, or texture of the new food very much.

On the other hand, if you haven’t changed your dog’s food in a long time, they might also be getting bored with the same flavor all the time. You might want to consider changing the flavor to help with this issue. If you do this, remember to transition the food slowly to avoid digestive problems.

Food Allergy

Dogs are prone to food allergies. Some breeds are more likely to develop food allergies than others, but all dogs have the potential. If your dog has a food allergy, they may be aware that their food is causing their stomach to feel upset, and this may cause them to lose interest in eating.

If you think your dog might have a food allergy, check their skin and coat health and condition. They may have dandruff or a dull coat if they’re dealing with this issue, and these symptoms can help you pinpoint the problem. Talk to your vet if you’re unsure.


Finally, aging can also cause a dog to lose interest in food. The older your dog gets, the less they may be inclined to eat, for a variety of reasons. They may be unable to make it to his food dish very well, or they might have trouble chewing and eating the food they’re used to.

As dogs near the end of their lives, they become aware that they don’t need to eat much or at all anymore. In the final days of your dog’s life, they may go off of food completely.

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn more about what might be causing your dog to stop eating, it’s time to talk to the vet. If you think any of the issues on the list above could be the problem for your dog, your vet may be able to help.

Even the conditions listed here that are incurable may be able to be managed with the right medication. Your vet will give you more information about how to help your dog depending on his specific needs. Call us today at (772) 337-8570.